Category Archives: Blog

A Post by Zack Gaskell

I purposely made the attempt to have no expectations of what my experience in Uganda was going to be like.  I had heard many other people’s experiences with their experiences on service trips and they weren’t as they had wanted. They had explained to me that they had  a desired experience they expected to have solidified in their head before the trip had even begun and it didn’t turn out they way they wanted. My idea was to go in expecting the entire spectrum of things that it could possibly be. I told myself that I would see and do as much as I possibly could and make the experience for myself, and that’s exactly what I did.

We have been back for a little over two months and many people ask me how my trip was. The first thing that I always say is, “ as cliché as it is to say that it was life changing experience there is no other words that I can put to it”.  For me, it has been pretty difficult to describe the trip because there were so many things that I took note of and it’s hard to remember everything. What I find hard is that people don’t have the expected reactions to what I tell them. To me the experience was one of the best I have had in my life. It was very eye opening and humbling to be a part of a culture for two weeks that operates very differently from that of the United States. Words just do not give the experience a fair description of how it was for me.

The first week home was sort of a struggle for me. I started to compare everything in my head. When I say I compared everything I mean everything; food, weather, and mostly the attitudes of people. It was hard for me to see little children talk back to their parents on Christmas day and just being brats.

What I feel that I got most out of the trip was that the amount of patience I have has grown to a whole new level and it brought me to the ground. It made it easier to put myself in other people situations and really understand how other people live. It’s hard to read about things that are happening in the world in magazines and books and not actually seeing them and trying to put yourself in their shoes. This is what I learned most.

Interested in volunteering with us? Summer 2013 applications are due on February 28th. Fill one out today!


Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Organizational Blog, Uncategorized

Safari Photo’s

Today our group went on a water and land safari at Murchison Falls National Park on our way back to Kampala before departure. Check out a sampling of photos from the day:Image



1 Comment

Filed under Blog, On-Site, Uncategorized

Volunteer Applications are now open for the 2013 Summer Trip

2012 Volunteer Experience Trailer from Pangea Educational Development on Vimeo.

Remember what an awesome time our volunteers had last year?  (If not refresh your memory by checking out the video above)

Want to be apart of our story this summer?


Leave a comment

Filed under Blog

24 hours of Madness (PED at the Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge)

Follow PED all night from 9 a.m. on November 17 to 9 a.m. on the 18th.

November 17th (8:30): Registration has begun…..check put the cool SWAG.(stuff we all get)


9:30  We got our web pros………………ZOO CREW!  And the 24 hours begins!  We are hard at work with the design and priorities needed to make the site.

10:45    Meet a Webpro:

Name: David Miller

Job: Designer

Favorite Cereal:  Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Favorite Childhood TV Show:  Hey Dude or Global Guts (Especially when Israel was represented)

Would you rather…have inverted knees or inverted elbows?  Inverted Knees…..elbows

11:45 Meet a webpro (Arfon Smith – Backend Extraordinaire)


Name: Arfon Smith

Favorite Super Hero: Spiderman

Would you rather fight a shark in water, a lion on land, or a pterodactyl in air (assuming you could fly): I’d have to say that I’d rather fight a lion on land. Death in water is one of my greatest fears…and at the mouth of a shark. Plus Spiderman can’t really fly so I’d be at a disadvantage there. I suppose I’d have the best chance on land. I’m rather agile.”

1:00 pm  LUNCH TIME!  Our sandwich options included Berry Beefy and Mega Meat…..Epic.  Any-who,  we are plugging away on our projects with our awesome team.

Speaking of our awesome team, meet our next Webpro:

Name: Nathalie Rayter

Job: Editor

Her favorite childhood book:  The Phantom Tollbooth

Favorite Party Ever:  Her 7th birthday when she had a Pocahontas themed party.  She ended up going missing, and was found behind the couch reading a book.

Would you rather have telekinesis or the ability to fly:  Telekinesis because it is more practical.  If I wanted a glass of water and I was to lazy to get up…….oh look, problem solve.

2:00pm Meet our next Webpro:

Name: Brian Carstensen

Job: Front-End Developer

Favorite Color: Burnt Sienna

Would you rather be a pirate or a ninja: Pirates. They have way better attire.

3:00pm  (Only 18 hours left!!!!!)  Team is getting crazy… crazy we mean still programing.

Speaking of programing, meet one of the programmers.

Michael Parrish (Backend Developer/ Heartthrob )

Least Favorite Starwars Character:  (Would be Jar Jar Binks, but he does not exist because those movies do not exist)  I would have to say Luke, cause he whines to much.

Favorite Breakfast food:  Cliff Bars, cause they have caffeine in them.

Would you rather never be able to say “I’m sorry” or “I love you” again:  I’m sorry (said extremely quickly)


We’re thinking of our #POW friends getting ready for their event tonight. Join them for POW’s Bustin’ Out at EasyBar in Wicker Park, Chicago.

We’ve got another studly Webpro to introduce you to:

Name: Stuart Lynn

Fun Fact: Sucks on Fruit Rollups when he eats them. Oh, and he holds a PhD in Astro-Physics from Edinburgh University.

Would you rather fight James Bond or Jason Statham: James Bond. I feel like Jason Statham would fight dirty. After the fight with bond I know we’d go for a drink after.

5:02 p.m.- We are hoping everyone is getting ready for POW’s Busting Out, which starts at 7!

With 16 Hours to go we are in full stride!

Chris Snyder has been running code and consuming coffee all day.  He is another one of our awesome WebPros.

Favorite Ice Cream:  Mint Chocolate Chip

Would you rather be half you weight or double your weight:  Double, if I was half there would be something extremely wrong.

6:00pm With the smell of dinner in the air we’ve come to presenting our last Webpro of the day…or night?

Name: Ed Paget

Job: Front-End Development

Favorite Disney Movie: The Great Mouse Detective (much to the pleasure of his British colleagues)

Would you rather be the star of your favorite team who has a losing record or ride the bench on a winning team: Ed is a dedicated Toronto Maple Leafs fan so he says not only would he be well adjusted to being the best player on a losing team, he’d make more money on top of it. This one was a piece of cake.

7:00  Zoo Crew and PED super team has been working so hard……we didn’t stop in time for dinner to be there.  I guess us and Roosevelt University underestimated how much about 100 nerds can eat.  #emptybelly

7:45  Maybe waiting this long payed off! #morefoodforus #fullbelly

P.S. We hope your reading this on your phone, while at the POW Event.  If not….Hurry and get there.

8:30 Just about halfway there!

9:40  After over 12 hours of constant work…….the boys are still going strong.


We’re approaching the 15 hour in mark and we’re still going strong. We’re well fueled with food, sugar, and energy of all kinds….

12 am (Midnight)  With the stroke of the midnight hour, we are exactly 9 hours from launching an awesome new website.


Reinforcements have arrived and our stomachs were ready for them. We’re heading into the dark hours of the night with much to do. Things are looking great, we can’t wait to show you all in the morning!

1:45 am:  After almost 17 hours straight of website development, we are working around the clock.  No rest!

3:00am- 6 hours left. The battle has officially begun. Fatigue is setting in and our final push has begun! Sleep tight everyone of the outside world!

4:35am – our team has taken shifts of catching some shuteye as we push on through the night. With less that 4.5 hours left things are really coming together complete with infographics, maps, and more media than you’ve ever seen of our projects in one place. Although many of us are counting down the hours until we can sleep, we are also counting down the hours that we can unveil you all a new site. Let’s go Zoo Crew!

5:45 am: After a quick nap (by Andy, not any of these fine fellows), we are putting on some of the bells and whistles with a few bugs to fix!

6:35am – The sun has begun to creep over the horizon indicating we may have made it through the night. Now that the sun’s up, it’s crunch time.

7:00 Hey everyone, with the sun coming up and the judges coming around, we wanted to officially tell you that we will not be launching our website this morning.  Zoo Crew  and Kevin Oh did an amazing job developing our website, and we could not be more thankful for them.  This is the website PED has been waiting for, and we want to make sure that when we launch it that every little speck is worked out.  Thank you to everyone for following us on this amazing 24 hour journey. We will be sure to update you when the official website will formally be launched!

8:00 The judges just past and we are awaiting their decision.  To be completely honest, we don’t care what they think.  Zoo Crew and Kevin developed a website that we can’t wait to launch, all in 24 hours.

Here is a sneak preview.

1 Comment

Filed under Blog, Events

POW’s Bustin’ Out!

Join us for POW’s Bustin’ Out!. It’s the first event hosted by PED’s program Pangea’s Opportunities for Women so that you can find out what we’re up to in Uganda and Chicago and how you can get involved—all while having some drinks and a good time! Please spread the word and bring a new or gently-used bra (all sizes and varieties are desired). Volunteers will bring the bras to Uganda this summer so that the Tooro girls can be fitted and the bras dispersed to those who need them. Your donation will provide comfort to the girls who work hard at school and play hard on the netball and soccer fields.

POW’s Bustin’ Out!

Where??? Easy Bar (1944 W. Division in Wicker Park, Chicago)

When??? Saturday November 17th from 7 pm to 10 pm

*No entrance free—just bring a new or used bra!

*Enjoy free appetizers, desserts, and a cash bar!

Invite your friends to the event!

Pangea’s Opportunities for Women is a PED program born out of conversations between PED volunteers and the young ladies of Tooro Secondary School during the summer of 2011. We spoke of our dreams of being teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, and architects. We spoke of what we’ll do after—how we’ll change the world. Most of the Tooro girls said how they were committed to returning to their villages as professionals to help their families and communities improve. But they also spoke of the challenges facing young Ugandan women pursuing higher education: lack of opportunity to earn tuition money while at school, limited financial assistance, responsibilities placed on them by family, forced marriage in exchange for dowry, early pregnancy, and health issues.

This past summer the conversation continued. We talked girl talk, but that quickly turned into a conversation about how the Tooro girls don’t have time for boyfriends; they dedicate their days and nights to studying and spend their free time studying some more, worshipping, cleaning, dancing, and playing sports. The girls also spoke about how they don’t have bras. Ruth exclaimed, “I have been wearing this same bra for 4 years!”. These girls would give you the shirts off their backs if you needed one, so let’s show them our love by cleaning out our drawers or asking friends for bras!

See you at the party!

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog

Big Thanks!


Big thanks to 1st Presbyterian Church in Ottawa IL and New Life in Church in Humbouldt Park for hosting soles4schools.



Filed under Blog

Executive Board Positions Open

Pangea Educational Development has executive board positions available. We are currently seeking to fill soon to be open seats on our executive board.

Why would you want to be a part of the board?

• You would help make up the highest-ranking team in the PED family (Mommy or Daddy)

• Your input and decisions will help guide PED on this epic journey.

How do apply?

• Summit a resume to

• After that a member of the PED family will directly contact you in regards to the position.

Position Requirements:

• Experience within the field of non-profit management, business, education, finance, fundraising, international operations, etc.

• Bachelors Degree (Alternate opportunity for single college level position available. For more info contact Andrew Bauer)

Position Expectations:

• Attend monthly board meetings (video conference if unable to be physically present)

• Collaborate with two programs within PED either physically or electronically.


  Andrew Bauer

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog, Uncategorized